Review: The Menzingers – On the Impossible Past

On the Impossible Past

I’ll never forget the first time I heard On the Impossible Past. I had a copy from a friend who told me for months to check out The Menzingers and that this album would blow my mind. I was in my car getting ready to head to work, when I finally decided to fire up the record on my iPod. At the time I was 23, I was in my first year out of college, working a job I hated and was missing the great times I was having with friends months earlier. As I put the car in drive, the words “I’ve been having a horrible time, pulling myself together,” spilled out of my speakers and time stopped. “Good Things” immediately wowed me and all I could do was turn up volume up. 

On that drive to work, I never made it past “Burn After Writing.” I kept going back to “Good Things” and repeatedly listened to the opening two tracks bleed into each other. It wasn’t until my ride home where I discovered “The Obituaries” and what the rest of the album had to offer. Listening to On the Impossible Past in full for the first time was truly an out of body experience for me. The storytelling by singer/guitarist Greg Barnett and singer/guitarist Tom May swept me off to a different world that took place years ago; I was getting drunk in the back of a Lions Club, I was getting drunk with Casey before I did dishes and then I walked home single, seeing double. 

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The Menzingers Start Patreon

The Menzingers

The Menzingers have launched a Patreon:

What a hell of a time to be alive. With our best-laid plans smashed to bits and an entire album cycle of touring erased from the calendar, we needed to find new ways to keep this operation runnin’. Thus “From Exile,” a DIY self-recorded revisioning of “Hello Exile,” was born. It was an incredible learning experience and a beautiful way for the four of us to connect albeit from a distance.

We’re at it again, this time launching a Patreon and calling it The Regulars Club. For many people, this was a year of self-reflection and prioritization. We are no exception. We’re taking a deep dive. This is a way for us to stay connected to you guys, to each other, to our music, and to the journey that got us here. There are countless stories we’ve yet to tell. We’ll be telling them here. We’re writing, filming, recording, drawing, and shaping the whole damn thing ourselves.

Review: The Menzingers – From Exile

The Menzingers - From Exile

We’ve been having a horrible time… in 2020. COVID-19 has forced us to keep our distance from one another and has caused unimaginable pain to millions around the world. Millions are out of work. Bands can’t play concerts and tour around the world like they usually do, forcing them to find new ways to get in front of their fans. The Menzingers came into 2020 with plans to tour their new album, Hello Exile, which was released last October. Instead, they canceled all future tour dates when everything shut down in March.

The Menzingers decided to flex their creative muscles and make the most of their time away from each other in quarantine. Between mid-March and June, the band re-recorded Hello Exile while they were all in different locations. Their goal was to create something like the acoustic demos that appeared on the excellent On The Possible Past, but instead they decided to add to the depths of the songs and not just strip them back.  

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The Menzingers Talk With PunkNews

The Menzingers

Tom from The Menzingers talked with PunkNews about their recent acoustic album:

At its deepest level, it’s almost an existential crisis. We’re older now. The entire band is in our early 30s. We’ve spent this many years working at what we consider to be our craft. We write songs. We play those songs. We book tours and we are able to execute those tours, keep everybody safe, and all those things that come along with that. 

To have that completely taken away, it’s a very bizarre and empty feeling that can arise around that. From there, we have to ask ourselves what we are going to do? This all comes from the personal aspect of us and we decided to write that record and keep us busy to create some sounds that we can share with people. We are going to continue to write remotely and pay attention to what we’re doing to make the best music we can.